Ok, before I start getting into the specifics of How I Met Your Mother's first two episodes, I want to mention the two-episode premiere fad that swept the networks this fall. Not to be confused with actual hour-long episodes, a format that I usually love because it allows comedies to stretch their legs a little, these are two disparate episode shown back to back. However, only one is technically the premiere. The second is, by the rules of logic, the second episode of the season. It is therefore, with no exceptions, a sad let-down after the momentum-carrying excitement of the first episode. The first episode sets the stage and is designed to push us towards the new and hopefully captivating themes of the unfolding season. But it needs to be allowed to unfold, and given room to push. Unfailing, from HIMYM to Modern Family to The Big Bang Theory, these double premieres guaranteed ratings, but also negative comparisons from critics. It's not that the second episodes were all that bad (though they kind of were), but the juxtaposition couldn't help but reflect poorly on them, like a mediocre comic who is made to follow Louis CK.
ANYway, How I Met Your Mother didn't have a great night over-all, even if you average it out. The wedding episode (and can I just say DUH-DOY BARNEY AND ROBIN ARE GETTING MARRIED I called that a year ago and drawing it out to be some sort of mystery is dumb) was not great. Other than drunk Marshall (who is fabulous) and occasional bits of Barney, it was pretty lame. And TWO fat-women-are-ugly jokes before the intro? Gross. Just real gross and lazy, writers. I mean, Robin was great except her TERRIBLE dress was super distracting. But remember that momentum I was talking about before that a premiere is supposed to provide for the forthcoming season? Yeah, this didn't really have it. Oh sure, pregnancy, and Barney and Robin not getting together and then totally getting together, and Ted and - we'll get to that.
Of all the double-episode sitcoms I watched this week, this one was most reliant on the second show to carry out the plot points established in the premiere. Marshall's drunkenness/lawyer career. Ted's magazine/romantic disillusionment. Robin's Barney-fever. Barney's Nora-fever. And it did it all in a really pretty obnoxious way (except for Marshall who is The Best and Mary from Psych maybe best guest star ever even better than Martin Short who is actually for reals The Best Guest Star Ever). Ted is SO ICKY! I mean, they kind of touched on that when he ran down the numbers ("Of those ten, seven liked what they saw"), but still: eeeeeew. Any psychopath who stands by a magazine stand reading the magazine with their face on it is instantly The Worst and would probably have much worse odds than 1 in 8 (hell yes I can reduce a fraction thank you GREs ha ha just kidding my current math score percentage is about 50). And then pros and cons and oh stop being awful just stop obviously you're not going to date a black girl because also this show can be kind of racist (see: Barnell). Anyway, since they've already established that he meets The Mother at Barney's wedding, this whole season is kind of a wash anyway. We'll get to what's going to make it a total, crappy-ass wash very shortly.
Something something Marshall is Beercules this was funny but also not going anywhere except that Marshall is working for Martin Short, terrific, let's keep moving.
Have I mentioned here before that I hate Nora? Well, I do. She's just so British and perfect and put together and not Barney and not Robin and really just doesn't belong on this show at all because uggggghhhhh, go back to merry old England and stop ruining this sitcom, please. I mean, clearly she's not going to be around for long (if she were they wouldn't have restarted the Barney and Nora relationship so early, got to have time for it to crash and burn and Barney to realize that he is ready for a real relationship with someone who is actually right for him, AKA Robin, and to propose and all of that in time for Big Wedding Season Finale), but I really hope she leaves as soon as possible. What is up with all of the supremely un-funny ladies that they bring in as Ted and Barney's girlfriends? Which brings me to....
VICTORIA. Dear lord. I have hated most of Ted's girlfriends (we all know how much I loathed Zoe), but I have hated Victoria since the beginning. I don't even watch the episodes she's in in the first season, I just skip right over them. She is so cheerful and dull and obnoxious and way too much like Ted to be right for him and if this show somehow contrives a reason for them to be together and for her to be The Mother I swear I am quitting because nooooooooooooooooooooo that is a no-good, horrible, very bad idea let's promise to never let that happen, ok? But in the meantime it appears as if this season means the resurgence of stupid cupcake Victoria (does she make macarons now because they're the new trendy dessert?) and, apparently, awful and offensive fat jokes (ha ha irony because fat women like cupcakes, GET IT?). So, other than Jason Segal being great, no, I am not too excited for this season. Kill off Victoria for good and get me some killer Barney/Robin storylines and I'm back in. Writers, Ted's architect balls are in your court.
Notes & Quotes
"This is a magical night between Ted's annoying friend and what'sherface"
"17 is always the inverse."
"I will do this for the child."
"Did this not work for you because (A) vampires are played out or (B) claiming that I invented Facebook was kind of a hat on a hat?"
I do love "Groove Is In The Heart" probably more than most people, but that dance did not really fit with the style of music. It was awkward.
Cobie Smulders' boobs, where are yooooooou? That dress makes them disappear. Your boobs are great, get a better dress!
That Last Supper print on the wall behind them is weird and distracting.
....I did it again!"
Best part of this episode: Google results for "Marshall Erikson":
"18-Pound Baby County's Largest Ever"
"Marshall Erikson has been the county's largest baby since 1978, but his record was broken this morning..."
"New Evidence In Bigfoot Myth"
"50 Years, 50 Stars"
"He was born Marshall Erikson, but from 1993-1996 he was known simply as Vanilla Thunder..."
"Bask-ICE-ketball" from urbanwordz.com
I did not get the cheering.
"If only architects had two balls, right Ted?"
"He could've been president of the frat someday."
Image via FansShare